A Simple Southern Home Security System

Methodology

1. Go to a second hand store and buy a pair of men’s used size 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine and The NRA Membership Directory and Soldier of Fortune – the “Bible” for mercenaries.

3. Put four giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

Bubba,

Bertha, Duke, Slim, & I went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour or less.
Don’t mess with the pit bulls; they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don’t think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of ‘em in the house.

Better wait outside. Be right back.

Cooter.”

(I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger; then it hit me,)

The great transatlantic tax divide

Tax” and “fairness”: what a potent rhetorical combination those two words can make. Each by itself packs a wallop in political terms but put together they have become the weapon of choice in the ideological wars that now dominate electoral life on both sides of the Atlantic. Here at home, Nick Clegg’s Tycoon Tax came and went in its original punitive form, but its spirit lives on in the Philanthropy Penalty, which is designed to prevent rich people from indulging in one of their decadent pastimes – giving money away, and from which the Government is, as we report today, desperately trying to row back. Meanwhile, in the United States, Barack Obama has launched his presidential campaign with a phoney (because it will never be passed by Congress) but symbolically significant version of the original Clegg gambit.

Known as the Buffett Rule, after a suggestion by Warren Buffett that millionaires such as him should pay a higher proportion of their earnings in tax, it proposes that anyone earning more than a million dollars a year should pay at least 30 per cent of his income in federal tax. At the moment, many such people, in the US and here, pay tax at a lower rate because their earnings come from capital gains or dividends rather than wages.

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This charities row may be the least of the Coalition’s worries

To practise politics at its very apex, you have to be amphibious. On Friday, David Willetts, the Universities Minister, was with the Prime Minister in Rangoon, listening to Aung San Suu Kyi speak in the old-fashioned, strictly grammatical English that is the hallmark of many former political prisoners. The Burmese opposition leader is friendly with Ed Llewellyn, the PM’s chief of staff, and the gracious welcome she extended at her modest lakeside home moved and inspired the UK entourage.

Then yesterday, Willetts returned to the domestic fray and the row over charitable donations – a row that embraces the higher education sector for which he is responsible. Universities are among the most clamorous of the many organisations and institutions claiming – as 46 such charities do in a letter to today’s Sunday Telegraph – that the £50,000 cap on donations which can be written off against tax will be “a brake on philanthropy that may deter future donors” and “is confusing and dispiriting”.

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David Cameron: I was proud to promote Britain to the world

Some people think Britain’s best days are behind us. I completely disagree. I think they are ahead of us. But only if we really get out there, fly the flag, promote the best of Britain and sell our great British brands to the world’s fastest growing markets.

With the eurozone producing sluggish growth, we simply can’t rely on trade with Europe to generate the jobs and growth we need. We need to look south and east and do a much better job of winning business in places such as China, India, the Gulf, Africa and South America.

That’s why I have been leading trade missions to some of the fastest growing parts of the world, including last week’s visit to Japan and south-east Asia.

Today Japan is the fourth biggest trading country in the world. But it is only our 14th biggest export market. Indonesia and Malaysia have growth rates 10 times those of Europe. But our exports to them account for barely a 1 per cent share of their import markets. These are some of the powerhouses of the modern global economy. And they are great friends of Britain, eager to do business with us. You only have to look at the Malaysians already investing in British companies as diverse as Wessex Water and Queens Park Rangers football club.

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Robin Gibb in coma and fighting for his life

The 62-year-old singer’s family have been keeping vigil at his bedside at a hospital in Chelsea, west London.

They are understood to include his wife Dwina, brother Barry, 65, daughter Melissa, 37, and sons Spencer, 39, and Robin-John, 29.

Gibb had surgery on his bowel 18 months ago for an unrelated condition, but a tumour was discovered and he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon and, subsequently, of the liver.

It had been thought his cancer was in remission as early as last month, but the latest deterioration in his health coincides with reports of a secondary tumour.

A statement on the singer’s website RobinGibb.com said: “Sadly the reports are true that Robin has contracted pneumonia and is in a coma. We are all hoping and praying that he will pull through.

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